First weekend with the FJ...

Rnovi

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(August 6th, 2006. Odometer reading, start of day: 467.)

Well, the wife and I had a free Sunday so we decided to see if the new FJ is really all it's cracked up to be.

First off, please understand the following. My previous off-road vehicle was my wife's Toyota Rav 4, 2WD stick model. I took that thing places...places she just doesn't need to know about. I also need to note that I have no experience driving a 4WD vehicle at all. So take this as a grain of salt. This is a noobies view of driving a 4WD vehicle for the first time.

First thought: damn, what a rig! HUGELY confidence inspiring.

We went out to the backroads of Big Bear, between Lancaster and Fawnskin (hey, I don't make these names up!) and ultimately down to Crab Flat Campground. Around 60 miles of dirt roads, some worse than others. We ran most of it in normal 4WD Hi and about 10 miles of it in 4WD Lo. I dropped into low gear and hit the "ASC" buttun when we saw this seriously steep road in front of us. I held off the rear locker as a "get out of jail free card"...but I figured that if I really needed it I would probably be falling backwards and rolling the rig. I slipped the auto trans into "first gear" and left it there. No point in shifting while climbing (I'm guessing here - it was hardpack and pretty decently rutted out.)

Inclinometer read 24 degrees of slope.

FJ trudged right up it in low gear at 3,000 rpms and around 4-5mph (?) or so. Right up a 200 yard climb. Never slipped a single tire and never, ever once felt like it was in trouble. I left it in lo at that point to do some downhill stuff on the back of the same hill - never had to touch the brakes. Engine braking kept the rig at an even 4mph turning around 2k rpms.

We ran along another road for 6-700 yards, wondering why it was so out of shape... it wasn't a road is why. It was a wash. I got a really good laugh out of it.

The roads got easier from there and I did end up in 4wd hi, trans locked in 2nd gear for most of the day while the wife and I trudged around. We managed to find one mud hole towards Crab Flat campground...so we played in that for a bit.



Sadly, I didn't see a single quail or chukar back there. Or deer. Saw maybe 20 doves.



It was a good day.

(Oh, and that's the wife in the picture!)
 

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Two Rugers

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Rnovi, Now thats a nice rig. What did it run you? I might get one after I pay off the Wife's Durango.
 

Rnovi

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Well, we paid MSRP - which is pretty much par for the course. Price before tax, title & license was $30,000 ($29,873 or something like that).

Mind you, this is the fully loaded version with every box checked. (couldnt get it any other way) We wanted the oversized OEM tires, factory top of the line stero (9 speakers...sounds decent), 4wd with optional rear diff locker, etc.

All in all, it ran just over $32 out the door.

Side note: we got 13mpg off road, tramping all over the place for 4 hours and covering a whopping 60 dirt miles. We saw 19 mpg on the highway heading out.
 

Drayton

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Sounds like you got momma a purdy nice vehicle!
 
T

trailwatcher

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Hey Renovi,
Nice rig,

I've been trying to come up with all the right reasons to buy one. Most of those being $$ash.
My queston is, how do you like the Black/cherry pearl color. Have you gotten used to it? I think it is an awsome color, I just don't know if I could get used to being in it.
As they say in the 4 wheelin circles "Keep on rockin on".
 

Rnovi

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Trail,

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "Have you gotten used to the color yet"... from our perspective none of the other colors were even in consideration!

We absolutely fell in love with the color the moment we saw it. Silver sucked (EVERYTHING is silver today!), the Blue was a bit too Crayola as was the the Yellow. And the black is actually a deep iredescant metalflake that is truly gorgeous up close...but looks just like any other black on the market from 20 feet away.

The neat thing about the Black Cherry is that it's just as much at home at a bow-tie event as it is on the trail. I absolutely love the color.
 

Rnovi

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Oh and I forgot to mention something else about the FJ. The roof really extends forward of the driver. If you look at the front of the windshield, it's nearly vertical. It's kinda wierd...I know it was largely designed for looks...but there is a huge benefit to it as well.

That roof keeps the sun off your face like nothing I've ever driven. There wasn't a cloud in the sky - crystal clear and bright such that I wore my Ray Bans like normal. That roof made some serious shade. In fact, there was so much shade that I had to take my sunglasses off just to read the GPS in the car!

I have to say, that sun shading works awesome.
 

SCREWLOOSE

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Nice rig. Does this thing run on regular gas? I heard that it takes premium. Do you know what the tow rating is? It's nice to see someone willing to get $30,000 suv dirty. Good going.
 

scr83jp

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The precursor FJ40 Landcruisers had a well deserved reputation of going virtually anywhere ,they were very heavy & durable just like the one I owned.Saw an article in Pertersons Off Road about a frame up restore of an FJ 40 with a price tag of $88K to $110K.
 

Rnovi

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (screwloose @ Aug 19 2006, 05:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Nice rig. Does this thing run on regular gas? I heard that it takes premium. Do you know what the tow rating is? It's nice to see someone willing to get $30,000 suv dirty. Good going.[/b]
Screw,

While the FJ was designed to run on 91 octane, it will indeed run on normal 87 octane fuel. General report from the field is that it makes slightly less HP running 87 than 91. However there has been no pinging or reliability issues with low grade. Remember, this is exactly the same motor as the Tacoma v6. The Taco V6 makes 236hp (?) on 87 octane, the FJ makes 239 hp on 91 octane. Bottom line: use 91 to maximize performance, but 87 octane isn't going to hurt it. I'm will to sacrifice a latte' a week to put the 91 octane in it.

Tow rating: 5,000# from the factory, no modifications. More than enough for me to tow my two motorcycles, a travel trailer, or otherwise.

As to offroading: damn this thing is amazing. We put our first official scratch into the paint (yep, down to the primer) at mile marker 640-ish. We have the makings of some very nice desert pinstriping on the way as well now that we have 2400 miles on it.

Average mpg Highway at 75mph cruising: 19.5.
Worst mpg: 13.5mpg over 4 hours and 65 miles of slow and go trail driving.
Average city mpg: 17.5mpg.

I can live with the MPG. Ride quality is really, really good for something so capable. On top of it all, this rig is actually quite quiet on the inside. Road noise and more importantly wind noise is held at bay very, very well.

I think this rig has the makings of a truly great relationship..
 


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